« | Home | »

Hang Santa

Wendy Doniger in the LRB, 16 December 1993:

Even within a single traditional family, Christmas is problematic, precisely because it is not supposed to be problematic. In England, the Samaritans receive approximately eight thousand calls of anguish on each of the three main Christmas days (as compared with five thousand at other times of the year). The Swiss even have a word for it: Weihnachtscholer (‘Christmas unhappiness’). In Trinidad, Daniel Miller notes, a popular play begins

Fargo was in ah bad mood. It was Christmas Eve, an’ he hated Christmas Eve. Because dat was one time ah year he used to feel like nobody eh like he. Because Fargo didn’t have no family to like he.

The title of Orvar Lofgren’s essay conjures up many a Bergman film: ‘The Great Christmas Quarrel and Other Swedish Traditions.’ He quotes a typical celebrant: ‘I don’t think I have been genuinely happy at Christmas since I was a child. What’s wrong?’ Instead of asking ‘What’s wrong with me?’ we might do well to ask: ‘What’s wrong with Christmas?’ [Continue]

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • IPFreely on Lesvos Burning: Al Jazeera seems to be the only TV programme that regularly reports on the situation and also gives reports on the numbers of refugees crossing by boa...
    • bevin on Cameron Quits Again: "Taking the state on a joy ride and crashing it,.." The EU was doomed from the beginning. It is very difficult to trick people into believing that ne...
    • Vance Maverick on Missionaries in a Lift: Well, your eternal salvation is pretty undeniably more important than your vote for the next President. Or it would be, if there were agreement on how...
    • Bob Beck on Up the Commonwealth: Boris Johnson's use of "piccaninnies" -- otherwise a tolerably obscure word these days, I'd have thought -- suggests that he shares Farage's adulation...
    • Jonathan W on On ‘Ripper Street’: Haven't seen the show. Everything about West Ham's move to the Olympic Stadium epitomises the arrogance, folly and contempt that is the corporate, sha...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement Advertisement